A Conservative peer's family estate has admitted breaching health and safety legislation on their fruit farm after the death of two young workers.

On 18 February Scott Cain, 23, and Ashley Clarke, 24, were found unconscious in an apple store at Lord Selborne's Blackmoor Estate in Hampshire.

Blackmoor Estate Ltd pleaded guilty to charges related to inadequate emergency plans and risk assessments.

The estate did however plead not guilty to a fourth health and safety charge.

The Crown Prosecution Service concluded that Scott Cain and Ashley Clarke died while retrieving apples from a long-term storage container in which fruit is kept at oxygen levels at around 1%.

Former manager of the estate, Andrew Stocker, 57, is also now being tried for manslaughter.

A court heard Andrew Stocker “encouraged” a practice nicknamed “scuba diving” to find the best specimens of fruit in storage. This involved employees holding their breath while in the container to┬áretrieve fruit.

The trial continues.

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